Last year at this time, I mentioned my intent to walk across the San Fernando Valley in honor of my late husband and to raise funds for the International Myeloma Foundation. Richie was given his diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, on the day after Christmas, 2006. Then I got plantar fasciitis in one of my feet, and had to back off on walking long distances. I was told that cycling would be a good alternative to walking, and that it can sometimes serve to rehab the plantar fascia because pedaling stretches the very tendons in the bottom of the foot that get stressed walking.
Anyway, I’m really enjoying riding, and I realized that I could do the same route as a cycling route. The route is illustrated above. It’s 18 miles. I have done two 10 mile rides already, so I don’t think it’s so far fetched. And of course, there’s always the option to bail and catch a bus along the way…perhaps not along the Orange Line because of the scarcity of bike racks, but along Burbank Boulevard. I will also have my mobile phone with me, a first aid kit, and bike tools. I will have two liters of water on me in a “Camelback” type arrangement, and also some munchies. I intend to get lunch at the end of my route.
18 is a good number: in Jewish tradition, Hebrew letters also have numeric value, and Cheth-Yod, Chai, the Hebrew word for “Life” is valued at 18. I’m doing this to celebrate the lives of family and friends who have been taken from me by blood cancers, and to support a friend who is currently fighting blood cancer.
I intend to set out at 10am on December 26th, and if my figuring is right, I will likely be in North Hollywood at the end of my route around 12:30 or 1pm. If you want to join up on the ride you can meet me at Chatsworth Station at 10am, or if you want to donate to the International Myeloma Foundation feel free to visit them at http://www.myeloma.org/ . I also support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because they are involved with both research and patient support not only for the leukemias and lymphomas but multiple myeloma as well.
I will document my ride, of course.